Harbingers of spring
The flowering season starts off with the colour provided by flower bulbs. These early birds are the first to announce spring’s arrival in the garden. As soon as those first green tips emerge, you know that the garden is waking up. By using lasagne planting, you can enjoy your flowers even longer. This is because the flowering periods of the various layers of flower bulbs arrive one after the other.
A succession of flowers
Lasagne planting involves planting various kinds of flower bulbs in more than one layer. This is usually done in three layers but you could also try four or five layers. In general, the more layers you plant, the longer you will enjoy the flowering display. The flower bulbs planted at the lowest level should be the ones that bloom last. On top of those go the ones that will bloom a little earlier, and so on up to the top.
The best way to plant flower bulbs in layers is to do this in a pot or plant container. Before starting out, be sure that the container has holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape. Then cover the bottom with a few potsherds or hydroponic clay pebbles. Next comes the first layer of potting compost. On top of this, plant the flower bulbs that will bloom last. Cover the first layer with potting compost and then plant the next layer of flower bulbs. When all the layers are planted, finish with the last layer of potting compost.
You might have to think about when each kind of flower bulb produces its flowers, but figuring this out is more than worthwhile. In general, snowdrops, crocuses and dwarf irises will be the first to bloom. Hot on their heels will be hyacinths, grape hyacinths and daffodils. Last but not least will be the late bloomers such as tulips and crown imperials. A more exact description of when each kind of flower bulb blooms is given on its packaging.
Interesting little facts
- Did you know that lasagne planting can also be used in a border? The method is the same as used for pots. Just be sure to dig a deep hole to accommodate the various layers.
- Flower bulbs should be planted in the autumn before the soil freezes. If you want to enjoy flowers during the autumn and winter before the flower bulbs bloom, plant some hardy annuals such as pansies on top of the layers of flower bulbs. This won’t have any adverse effect on the flower bulbs as they grow.